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CHICAGO — Hundreds of Cook County residents who want to become homeowners lined up at McCormick Place Friday morning to apply for $15,000 grants to help with down payments.

About $8 million in grant money is available Friday and Saturday with the goal of making 450 families stable homeowners in low- to moderate-income neighborhoods.

It’s seen as one way to combat violence and crime in at-risk communities.

The money is provided by Wells Fargo’s NeighborhoodLIFT program, but eligibility is determined by nonprofit Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago.

To qualify for a down payment assistance grant, annual income cannot exceed $67,700 for up to a family of four.

Veterans, teachers and first responders can receive $17,500.

Those who qualify must attend eight hours of homeownership classes.

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